Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Obama's Legacy According To Bernie Sanders

Snicker Snicker Bernie Sanders just outlined Obama's legacy. Oh, he didn't mean to. Heck, he wasn't even talking about Obama. But boy did he nail Mr. Yes-We-Can. Observe.

Sanders was giving an interview to Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC when she asked him if his endorsement would help Hillary beat Trump. Sanders's answer was lengthy, convoluted, and devastating to Obama. Why Obama? Well, here's what Sanders said:
It's a question of the American people understanding that Secretary Clinton is prepared to stand with them as they work longer hours for low wages, as they cannot afford health care, as their kids can't afford to go to college. Make it clear that she is on their side, that she is prepared to take on Wall Street, the drug companies, fossil fuel industry. Deal with the global crisis of climate change.
The thing is, Obama has been president for eight years. And what Sanders is saying is that this is the state of America today. That's why he believes Hillary needs to assure the American people that she will fix these things if she wants to win the election. If this is the state of America today, and Obama has been in office for eight years, then obviously these are things Obama either did not fix or that he caused. Either way, the result is damning:

1. "as [the American people] work longer hours for low wages". This is an indictment of Obama's economic record. It means that everything you feel about the Great Recession hanging on is true. There are fewer jobs. They are worse jobs. They are lower paying jobs. Remember Obama's multiple stimulus plans? Weren't they supposed to fix that? Wasn't he going to fight China on trade? I guess not.

2. "as [the American people] cannot afford health care". Huh. Didn't Obamacare solve that? Don't we have universal coverage now that everyone can afford? I thought those denying that were Republican liars? Guess not.

3. "as [the American people's] kids can't afford to go to college". That would be colleges run by liberals. That would be the places taken over by students in protest after protest. Yep, those place. Well, didn't Obama fix this when he forced all the private lenders out of the Temple and brought all the student loans into the government? I could have sworn that was the case. Guess not.

4. "that she is prepared to take on Wall Street". Wait a minute! I KNOW Obama fixed Wall Street. Don't you remember Dodd Frank? Yeah, that ended too-big-to-fail and finally brought real regulation to Wall Street. Besides, Obama runs all the regulatory agencies that monitor Wall Street. How can Wall Street be out of control?

5. "that she is prepared to take on... the drug companies". Hold on. These guys were neutered under Obamacare, weren't they?

6. "that she is prepared to take on...the fossil fuel industry". Hasn't Obama been waging a war on coal for eight years? Didn't Obama create a massive lending program to hand out money to cronies to companies who develop clean technologies? Didn't Obama raise fuel standards and impose new rules on power stations? I seem to recall that.

7. "that she is prepared to deal with the global crisis of climate change". Hmm. I thought Obama fixed this in Copenhagen. Weren't we promised he had saved the world? Has something gone wrong?

There's more that Bernie missed, but this is honestly a damning indictment of Obama's legacy. You would think he could have fixed a couple of these given the fact he got whatever laws he wanted until 2010 and could cut deals thereafter, that his administration does whatever it wants in the regulatory world, and given that he's just so gosh darn Nobel. Odd.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

For Your Entertainment - Brexit Predicted

I've got nothing really coherent to write about tonight... So for your entertainment, here is a clip that went viral this weekend from "Yes, Minister", a wonderful British TV series from the 1980's, because of how it well predicted UK's Brexit vote and why:

The floor is now open...

Btw, if you want to see a great TV series from Australia that perfectly depicts a government bureaucratic agency that exists to do nothing but keep bureaucrats employed, watch "Dreamland" on Netflix. It proves that it's not just us.
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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mr. Trump meets the General Electorate Part 2: The Limits of Free Media

By Kit

In the aftermath of disastrous polls putting him below where Romney was four years earlier, and a Federal Election Commission report showing his campaign low on funds, Donald Trump decided to make a speech railing against Hillary and on Monday, fired his campaign manager - a move that never signals health in a campaign. It was probably his first attempt to look like a serious contender for the presidency instead of a contender for the host of Who Wants to be President! And, given his attempts at the Scottish golf course to moderate his more outlandish statements. this attempt seems to mark a new turn in his presidential campaign. But his supporters should be wary of getting too giddy about it.

The speech got the attention of a bunch of the media when he made it. Unfortunately for him, that coverage dropped like a stone when the Democrats staged a 25-hour sit-in that night on the House floor. And by Friday it had disappeared almost entirely, courtesy of Britain voting to leave the EU and all the financial and political mayhem that vote caused. Yes, some late night news programs talked about it but the Brexit got the bulk of the coverage. Indeed, the only programs that might have given it a substantial amount of coverage over the Brexit (Hannity) cater largely to people who are already voting for Trump or otherwise made up their minds on the matter.

This illustrates the first limitation of free media; it only lasts as long as people are talking about it. The moment another Big Thing happens in the news, whatever free media you picked up courtesy of your most recent statements of actions disappears. That means you need to keep staying in the news and Trump, at the very least, seems to understand this, which is why he has spent much of the past year screaming anything that he thought might grab headlines. This swept him to the nomination with those who tend to support him.

Before we go further on the issue of free media, some election numbers: In 2012 129 million people voted, of whom Romney netted about 60.9 million, while Obama received about 65 million. Now, let us assume for a minute that everyone on of the 13,300,472 people who voted for Mr. Trump in the primaries show up in the General. He will still need every one of the 16 million people who voted against him. Let’s assume he will. That brings us up to 29.5 million voters. Romney netted 60.9 million people. The total number of votes cast in in 2012 were about 129 million, just below the 131 million who showed up in 2008, so let’s split it and assume that somewhere around 130 million people show up for 2016. This means Mr. Trump will need 65 million votes to win the general.

He received 20% of that number in the primaries and 45% of that number of people voted in the Primaries. That means Trump will need to quadruple his own vote and double the number of GOP voters just to receive what Romney grabbed. Also, a certain, and rather key, portion of those 30-35 million people who didn’t vote in the primaries but might normally vote for the Republican in the general won’t be paying attention to things until after the conventions, some not until the fall.

And what will they be watching? Well, The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News’ highest rated show and the highest rated cable prime-time news program, averages about 2.5 million viewers in 2015 and Hannity about 1.5 million. By comparison, Big Bang Theory nets about 20 million viewers per episode in its most recent 9th season and NCIS: New Orleans nets about 15 million per episode. Even lesser shows like Mom and Agents of SHIELD grab about 7 million and 4 million, respectively.

And here we have the second limitation of free media: not everyone is watching the shows and channels on which your free media is likely to be showing. And that is counting free media in general, not just the positive coverage. So, when late-September comes it will be shows like Big Bang Theory and NCIS that everyone, including a fair number of potential voters, will be watching, and it will be during those shows’ commercial breaks that people will see the ads put out by the various campaigns.

Well, they’ll be watching Hillary’s commercials at least.

Hillary ended May with $42 million while raising $26 million during the month and is currently buying up ad space between now and November like there is no tomorrow. Her folks and the folks at the pro-Hillary Super Pacs will be hammering Trump with ads about his over-the-top rhetoric, his ignorance about basic issues like the nuclear triad or how anything works, his infidelities and sexual philandering, and the fact that he seems to have to change his views constantly. In other words, the very stuff that prompted a anti-Trump high turnout in the primaries.

Now, before you start pointing out that many of these attacks apply in some way to Hillary (she called Republicans her enemies, she failed to take basic security precautions with her emails, her husband is a serial philanderer, and she too will say anything to get elected) remember the point is not necessarily to get people to vote for her but to ensure that a significant number of the potential Republican voters who dislike both her and Trump stay home or vote third party. Considering that a recent poll showed 48% of Republicans would support a different nominee at the convention, this might prove easier than you might think.

And for those who might be swayed to vote for Hillary, she has a ground game to snatch them up. Pro-Hillary volunteers will canvass swing districts, knocking on doors or calling up homes, asking the residents if they are interested in voting for Hillary Clinton. If the resident says “Yes” then the nice young volunteer will ask if that person would be willing to make a donation or sign of up to receive more information about the campaign. If the person says “Yes” to the first or both (saying yes to the first automatically says yes to the second) then that person will receive emails, letters, and phone calls from then until election day asking them for donations, reminding them to vote on election day, and asking if they will need help getting to the polling place.

Trump’s campaign, on the other hand, only raised about $3 million and ended the month with $1.3 million. By comparison, Mitt Romney had raised about $23.4 million and had finished the month with $17 million. Even the defunct Ted Cruz and Ben Carson campaigns ended May with more money. To further drive this point home, at least 50 House members have campaign funds bigger than him. All of that stuff that I just told you that Hillary will be doing? Trump will be able to do none of it. He won’t be able to canvass and ID potential voters, he won’t be able to remind them to show up on election day, and he won’t be able to help voters get to the polling places on election day.

Now, his supporters may reply that Trump didn’t need any of that in the primaries and still managed to win. True, but he began it as the biggest news-grabber in a divided primary where, due to many of the GOP primaries having winner-take-all or winner-take-most rules, he was able to win either a majority or all the delegates in enough states despite only average about 35-45% of the vote. And when it did become a two-person race between him and Cruz (and Kasich), he had picked up enough momentum and had the aura of “inevitability” to carry him to majorities in the Republican primaries.

Well, he has since lost that momentum. He spent the month after grabbing the nomination launching a series of attacks against the judge presiding over his case, bringing up the fact that he has a lawsuit against him for one of his shady business deals and that he has spent this campaign using racially-tinged attacks that many Americans found repulsive, thus reminding many voters why they dislike him in the first place. Then polls came out showing him trailing Hillary 6 points and now the FEC report showing us the dire state of his campaign.

Now, many earnest Trump supporters are pointing to the Brexit vote, which surprised a lot of people. Yes, there are parallels to the Trump campaign, in that the Remain vote was seen as a vote for the establishment, and the polls for a long time showed a Remain win, but there the similarities cease. First, the Brexit campaign was never tied to one figure, despite the Remainers' attempts to make it exclusively about Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson. Whereas, the Trump campaign is exclusively tied to the person who might be the most controversial candidate since George Wallace. Second, the Leave campaign actually, well, campaigned. They ran ads, they canvassed, they knocked on doors. In other words, the Leavers had a ground game.

As it stands, Donald Trump’s only hopes are the presence of a “shy Tory” factor in the polls, meaning some people who intend to vote for Trump on election day are not admitting it to the pollsters, that Hillary will fall on her face enough times between now and November to cost her momentum, and that Johnson and (maybe) Sanders will eat enough into her votes to give Trump the edge. But these are just hopes and failed campaigns are filled with the such hopes, be they the PUMA voters of 2008 or the “skewed” polls of 2012.
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Some Random Thoughts...

Just a couple random thoughts today.

Social Security In Danger!!: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Whenever there is a Republican in the White House, the media screams about Social Security going broke. Whenever the Democrats own it, Social Security is saved for all time! Then there was Obamacare, which saved Social Security by stealing all of its money. Anyways, now that Obama is leaving the White House and there is a very high chance that a (pretend) Republican will win it, Social Security is in danger again. Not only are we told that it will crash and burn in 2048, but it will do so two years sooner than expected. Panic!

Honestly, I’m sick of this. I’m sick of the homeless vanishing, AIDS being cured, inflation dropping to nothing, and wars mysteriously ending without the shooting stopping whenever the Democrats are in charge and then returning with a vengeance the moment the GOP is in charge again.

Stairway To Court: There’s an interesting story from the world of music. Led Zeppelin has been sued for stealing their signature song, “Stairway to Heaven.” When I heard this, I thought it was just a money grab, but the trial seems to be going against them. Apparently, the introduction of the song comes from the song “Taurus” by 60’s rock bank Spirit. And even more apparently, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page may have seen this song performed at Birmingham’s Mother’s Club, though both claim they can’t recall that. In fact, Robert Plant has admitted that he can’t remember the 1960’s. Ouch.

I get the issue of copyrights and I do feel badly for Spirit if their stuff was actually stolen by Zeppelin. But let’s be honest, there is little original work in the arts. It’s all copies of copies of copies. All that really matters is what you do with it, and what Zeppelin did was timeless and amazing. What Spirit did, just didn’t take with the public.

Seems Wrong: This week, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department released photos of Michael Jackson’s porn collection. While I in no way condone what he did, I find it wrong that this stuff is being made public. The man is dead and it strikes me that this is just piling on for the sake of satisfying the desire of some in the public (and more in the media) of selling salaciousness. You can disagree, but I just don’t see the point in continuing to drag a dead man through the ringer when we already know what he did.

Surprise!: For a decade now, women’s groups have been pushing to improve women’s “body consciousness.” They tried everything from railing against magazines and films hiring only skinny models/actresses, to “shaming” women for airbrushing photos, to making it unacceptable to tell fat joke involving women. Just about the only thing they haven’t tried is giving up the jobs they got because they were hot and letting fat women take them instead... do as I say, not as I do. So basically, they did what the left always does – try to sell fake self-esteem over substance and act hypocritically the whole time (see e.g. feminism, anti-racism, environmentalism, anti-capitalism, anti-gun ownership, etc.).

So guess what? Yep: it didn’t work. In fact, women’s “body consciousness” has declined sharply since this all began. Imagine that. Every time the left tries to solve a problem, it makes it worse... every single time... everything they touch turns to crap.

As Reagan (kind of) said, “The scariest words in the English language are, I’m a liberal and I’m here to help!”
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Is it just me or has the world gone a little cookoo? The House has been taken over by people who are trying so hard to take away civil rights that they once championed. AG Loretta Lynch swears that she cannot possibly be sure exactly why our latest terrorist attack killing 49 people in Orlando actually happened even though the guy called 911 and stated pretty emphatically WHY he was doing it. This is after many people imcluding a guy at his Mosque reported him and the FBI interview him over and over and over! And the UK may or may not leave the EU and who knows where that might lead.

And we have the most cookoo presidential candidates ever. All they do is insult each other with not one salient policy discussion at all. Oh, well there is that platform debate amongst the Democrats to demonize Israel, but...well, demonizeing Jews is always on the table. Btw, in a recent study, Jews still top the hate-crime victim list in the US and the world at large, even though Muslims want to claim the top spot.

I wish I could come up with a salient perspective to make sense of it all, but I just can't. I feel like a deer caught in headlights and I don't know which way to run. Actually it is more like I have been dropped into an absurdist play by Jean-Paul Sartre and can't find the exit. Or more like "Steambath", a play from 1973 written by Bruce Freidman where all of the characters wake up in a steambath and can't find a way out until God in the guise of a Puerto Rican attendant casts them into Hell.

While we wait for the world to end with the Brexit vote today, please help me make sense of it all. (I am banking on "Stay" just because if Scotland can't pass a vote to leave the UK, why should the UK pass a vote to leave the EU...it's only fair, right?). Here is a really great article by Jonah Goldberg of National Review that explains whole Brexit issue - LINK

I can't figure any of this out.

Oh, but on a positive note, I got my first "Block" on Twitter today. I feel so proud!
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Orlando and the Obama Administration's Farcical Obscurantism

By Kit

A week and a half ago, a few hours after midnight on Sunday, Omar Mateen entered The Pulse, a nightclub oriented towards gays, and opened fire. By the time he was taken down by the Orlando PD 3 hours later he had killed 49 of the revelers present and wounded nearly the same number. It is the worst mass shooting in American history (not carried out by the federal government) and, given the statements made by the mass shooter, the worst terrorist attack on US soil since September 11, the fifth major Radical Islamist attack in the West since Charlie Hebdo was hit almost a year ago.

While it is true there is no proof that he was directly linked to ISIS as they hate to be called, in that he never visited Syria and never received training from any members of ISIS he was clearly influenced by their views. Through it’s leader, Al-Baghdadi, and it’s official magazine it has called upon Muslims living in the “Crusader nations” (US, Europe, Canada, etcetera) who cannot travel to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State there to carry out attacks upon non-believers with guns or, if they lack guns, then knives, rocks, and cars. They only request that before, during, or immediately after the attack you make a recorded statement declaring loyalty to the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Mr. Mateen, as New York Times’ reporter Rukmini Callimachi diligently noted in her various daily 50-tweet series, he knew the lingo; he plead allegiance to Al-Baghdadi in the terminology required by the Islamic State and, like the shooters at the Bataclan, called for the US to cease its bombing campaign in Iraq. Shortly after it was confirmed that he did indeed declare allegiance to Al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s official radio news agency proclaimed him “one of the soldiers of the caliphate of America.”

The evidence is undeniable: This was an Islamist terrorist attack. A lone wolf attack, but an attack nonetheless. He had a history of erratic and unstable behavior, it is true. But he seems to have been nowhere near as unstable as the Tuscon, Aurora, or Navy Yard shooters and hardly moreso than either Elliot Rodgers or Dylann Roof, both of whom were able base their crimes on clear-cut ideological pretexts that did not involve dream control, global currency conspiracies, or microwave emitters. But whereas the Left had no difficulty pinning to Elliot Rodgers and Dylan Roof the ideologies they promoted, with Mr. Marteen they are struggling.

Even while the BBC was calling this “America’s Bataclan,” that is, calling it an Islamic terror attack, our liberal media was busy trying to connect this to the gun rights lobby and Christian conservatives and, therefore, the American Right. Anderson Cooper hammered the Florida Attorney General for representing her state’s opposition to same-sex marriage while the New York Times ludicrously claimed that the Book of Romans in the Bible called for the killing of gays. Meanwhile, our president, used the attacks as a platform to engage in what Charles Cooke rightfully called “emotional blackmail” to call for gun control procedures that would never have stopped the gunman in the first place.

Background checks? He passed them when he bought them. Keep those on the No-Fly List and the Terror Watch List from buying guns? Not only was he given a pass by the FBI after two interviews but very (1) very few Americans are on those lists and (2) the former list involves only names such as Stephen Hayes and Ted Kennedy. I’m serious. Then there are of course the Due Process and 5th Amendment concerns which prompted the ACLU to side against the Left on this. In short, rather than use this as a way to talk about how the US government can better stop terrorists in the future, the Left decided to engage in an idiotic war on the Bill of Rights, pushing measures that would not have stopped the attack.

Speaking of government, that brings me to another topic: The breathtaking incompetence shown by the federal government in its handling of this case. First, when something like this occurs we often wonder “Where were the red flags?” and “Why didn’t Law Enforcement know about him?” and “Did anyone tell the cops about this guy?” Here, the question is who didn’t tell law enforcement about him. This is the list I have gathered so far: a couple of co-workers informed the FBI after he made inflammatory comments about Islamic terrorism, a gun shop owner from whom he tried to purchase weapons, one Mosque attendee also reported him to the FBI because of his support for radical Islam, and the Muslims whom he tried to recruit with him to go to Syria. Oh, and his current wife, who seems to have been aware of what he was planning? During her press conference today Loretta Lynch admitted that the FBI had lost track of her.

I hope Mrs. Mateen is not planning anything involving, say, guns or things that go boom.

But don’t think the fine G-Men and G-Women (we gotta be PC!) at the FBI and the Department of Justice were sitting with their hands on their behinds doing nothing. Nope! On Monday they released the partial transcript of his phone calls to 911 wherein he proclaimed his allegiance to the Islamic State. “Partial” because they deleted the parts referring to the Islamic State. Now, when I heard they had did this I assumed deleted entirely the sentences and passages of the call where he referred to the Islamic State. Therefore, when I saw a bunch of folks on twitter putting out stuff like, “I pledge allegiance to [omitted]” I thought that was just them exaggerating the nature of the edits for jokes.

Here is an excerpt of the partial transcript:

OD: What’s your name?
OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to [omitted].
OD: Ok, What’s your name?
OM: I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].

Our country is now living out plot-lines too silly for The Veep. Wonderful.
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Solstice/Full Moon Open Thread

Today is the Summer Solstice which marks the longest day of the year. From today on the days will get shorter until the Winter Solstice which is the shortest day of the yar. But along with this year's Summer Solstice is something that only happens every 70 years. We will also have a full moon. To ancient cultures, this means that the apocolypse is coming and the end of the world is nigh. It does feel like that these days. However, if this has been happening since the beginning of observable human existance, I wouldn't get too worked up and max your credit cards or anything. Though you might hold off on buying a new carton of milk for a few days.

But then again, I have to tell ya', Sweet Meteor O' Death (a/k/a SMOD) has been getting a little more aggressive in his (her? its? their?) political-slash-destroy-the-world-as-we-know-it rhetoric on Twitter lately. Personally, I don't take that seriously. Meteors can be so testy and unpredictable. Just when you need one, they disappear. Why here is an example:
For those who do not recognize them (or don't want to admit you do), these are the "ladies" (I use that term loosely) of one of those Housewives reality shows. We came upon them while on a walking tour on a tiny, cobblestoned side street in Dublin. Honestly, if ever there was a moment for a small, pin-point meteor to strike, it should have been then. But no matter how I pleaded to SMOD, none came.

Anyway, just in case the end of the world IS nigh or not, let's free-form it today and talk about anything you want.
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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Welfare Idiocy

Let’s take another leftist apart, shall we? Today’s fool is Rep. Gwen Moore (Moron – WI), who has shown that she doesn’t get it. What doesn’t she get? She doesn’t get how money works of why people are sick of giving welfare to people like her. See, Moore is a former welfare dependent who wants to drug test “rich” people out of spite.

Here’s the story. Gwen is upset that people want to drug test poor people who want welfare. Ten states require this. Whined Gwen:
“Republicans continue to criminalize poverty and to put forward the narrative, the false narrative in fact, that people who are poor and reliant upon the social safety net are drug users.”
Really? How does drug testing “criminalize” poverty in any way? It doesn't. It adds another punishment aspect to a specific crime, it does nothing vis-a-vis poverty. Moreover, if this is a “false narrative,” then why get upset at all? Wouldn't the Republicans just be wasting their time? What do you have to fear in letting them try?

Interestingly, the AP tried to back up her assertion of this being a “false narrative” by claiming that “evidence from test results from the states that [do test] indicate that [welfare recipients] are no more likely to use drugs than the general population.” Supposedly, seven states did testing and found only 427 drug users out of hundreds of thousands of users, so the evil Republicans are clearly evil liars too, right?!

Well no. This is completely misleading. According to their own data, there were 321 positive tests out of 2996 people tested, or 10.7% of people tested. One in ten is not a “false narrative.” What’s more, this doesn’t count people who refused to undergo testing. They excluded those people even though drug testers typically count those as positives. So the 10.7% number could be much, much higher. Again, not a false narrative. Indeed, I suspect that if Gwen were told that one in ten government employees belonged to the KKK, she wouldn’t willingly dismiss that as a “false narrative,” she would view finding those 10% as something critical. In this case, the Federal Government alone spends $717 billion each year on welfare (not counting medical spending or private spending). A 10% drop would save $71 billion. That's hardly irrelevant.

Anyways, to try to stop the testing, Gwen introduced a bill called the “Top 1% Accountability Act” which would require anyone who is claiming itemized deductions over $150,000 to submit a clear drug test or they won’t be able to take their deductions and will be stuck with the standardized deduction. Moronic.

Her little team of short-bussers have calculated that this will only affect people who make at least $500,000 a year. Personally, I doubt that though. Why? Because the IRS code starts wiping out your deductions once you get into the mid-$100k’s. If Gwen paid her taxes, she would probably know this.

More to the point though, Gwen has fundamentally misunderstood why people want welfare dependents tested. People want welfare recipients, like her lousy ass, tested because I work my butt off for every penny I earn, and I don’t want the government handing out my money to some lazy slug who won’t work because they would rather smoke dope. I’m willing to help someone in the short term IF they need the money to get back on their feet, but I don’t want to support their lazy lifestyle and I sure as hell don’t want to support someone who can afford to use drugs and who would rather use drugs than sort out their lives. F-off Gwen.

What’s more, I don’t see any reason to drug test wealthy, productive people because they are productive. They work hard and contribute greatly to society if they are making that kind of money. I don’t care what they do in their private lives at that point. I only care if someone wants to live off my money.

Moreover, her attempt to claim that rich people are living off me by claiming tax deductions is bull – she’s one of those who equates tax deductions with spending. That wrongly assumes that everyone owes taxes. That’s bunk. Taxes are something we have allowed the government to take, they are not something that is a right of the government. You do me no favors not robbing me, Gwen.

What's going on here is that Gwen wants to avoid the moral stigma of being a beggar. She's trying to equate taxpaying with begging and that's garbage.

Now, if you want to drug test rich recipients of government funding, I’m all for that. Let’s haul the CEO’s of any company who wants a government handout, i.e. GE, the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, Warren Buffett, into the bathroom and let ’em fill that cup to the rim. I’m up for that. But don’t pretend that the people who pay taxes owe you jack or that we are wrong to insist that you stay off drugs before we share our hard-earned cash with your lazy ass.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Mr. Trump Meets the General Electorate (and some opera thoughts)

By Kit

IF there is one image that encapsulates the state of the Republican Party in their most winnable race since 1980 (or 1984) it is this graph of the RCP Average over the last 3 weeks (for Reference, Trump is Red and Hillary is Blue):

Secretary Clinton is clobbering Mr. Trump

Dan McClaughlin (@baseballcrank on twitter) compared these numbers to previous races and it appears that at this point in the race just about every candidate of the two major parties, never mind the winning ones, since at least 2004 was already at or above 40 in the head-to-head polls. While it is still possible that Sunday morning’s shooting in Orlando, as well as the asinine behavior of the Democrats, could still give Trump a bump, a recent CBS poll found while the numbers for Mrs. Clinton’s and Obama’s responses to the shooting were evenly with a third approving and another third disapproving, the numbers for Trump were far worse: 51% of Americans disapproved of his response to the shooting while only a quarter approved.

It seems the big question this election year is not whether Trump will win or lose the White House but how many Republicans in the House and Senate, as well as those holding various state and local offices, he will drag down with him when he loses. Indeed, with numbers like this and the polls showing depressed enthusiasm among Republicans, we may lose not only the Senate, and thus give the Supreme Court to whichever Sotomayor-clone Hillary Clinton picks, but the House of Representatives as well. So great is the fear that it has increased the talk within the GOP that the party should dump him at the convention, which they can do if the delegates vote to “release” themselves when they vote on the convention’s rules in mid-July.

And this year was supposed to be an easy year for us Republicans.

The reasons for why Trump is behind should be obvious. First, as anyone will tell you, his fiery rhetoric during the primaries clearly poisoned the well of the general electorate. But given that Mrs. Clinton’s numbers are so terrible he could have recovered, heck, he had a slight lead in early May. All he had to do was spend the next month hammering Clinton on her email server in his usual unrestrained style. He could have shouted that “Hillary was a dumb Secretary of State. She used a bad server, a weak server, and she let the Chinese in and now they are killing us. They are killing us! She was reckless and they are killing us!”

See, how easy that was? Yes, the media would’ve engaged in their typical pearl-clutching, “How dare he launch such a sexist attack HM Queen Hillary Clinton!” but it would have mattered little in the grand scheme because, however much it would’ve annoyed a public already annoyed with Mr. Trump and his signature style, it would’ve forced the media to discuss details about Mrs. Clinton that also annoy the public. Namely, that she was so lacking in any scruples and so eager to conceal evidence of corruption on her part that she recklessly America’s national security at risk. It would not matter what idiotic hyperboles he used and no matter how much the media tried to cover for Mrs. Clinton’s deplorable conduct as Secretary of State they would still be discussing, and thus reminding America’s voting public of, Mrs. Clinton deplorable conduct as Secretary of State.

But he didn’t. Instead, for reasons known only to Mr. Trump, he spent the rest of May and the early part of June hammering judge presiding over the lawsuit against him because the judge made a ruling that he did not like and was, for a few days, making a few headlines. This despite an earlier memo to his surrogates telling them to avoid questions about the lawsuit. The effect of this attack was, interestingly, similar to what would’ve happened had he spent that time doing what I described above, only it hurt him. Because, whatever the merits of Mr. Trump’s complaints against the judge, bringing it up reminded people that Trump himself has unsavory characteristics; first, that he has a history of engaging in shady business deals and scams and, second, the nature of his attacks brought to mind the racially-tinged nature of his primary campaign that has repulsed so many Americans.

Sadly, however, it’s not hard to figure out why Trump is doing this. He, despite claiming to have $10 billion dollars in the bank and therefore being able to entirely self-fund his campaign (again, he claims), is low on campaign funds. He needs to raise money and fast, especially with Hillary Clinton building up a massive war-chest and buying up ad space for what will surely be an unremitting assault on Donald Trump unlike anything he experienced in the primaries. He needs to raise money and he needs to do it quickly. He knows that the immigrant charge has worked well so why not? Which makes it all the more stupid because a series of volleys against Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal would’ve worked just as fine, maybe even better.

Of course, he may have done it because his ego could not stand a few days of unpleasant headlines about a topic that is apparently a rather sensitive one to him. Who knows.

The good news is that he seems to recognize that his polls are sliding. Maggie Haberman of the New York Times said in a tweet: “Trump, in phone interview before rally, made first concession that I've heard him make that he is not leading the polls.” So the question is what will he do now. He has three options: First, he could stay the course and double-down, continuing to make idiotic statements that further poison the well of the electorate. Second, he can change course. This would mean admitting to himself he had made mistakes. Fortunately, he seems to have backed off the Curiel attacks so there is some hope there.

There is a third option which, I’m afraid is the worst, at least when it comes the Party: declare war on the party. Scapegoat the party’s leadership for his woes, accuse them of undermining his campaign, and maybe even demand some resignations. This would infuriate the leadership, burn bridges needlessly for him, and only increase calls to dump him at the convention. This would, on the surface seem monumentally stupid. It would be a slap in the face to those who voted for him and could kill the party. But, if Trump seems determined to kill the party anyway, the RNC and a simple majority of the over 2000 delegates meeting in Cleveland might decide that in this case an amputation is the only cure.

But would this be so bad for Mr. Trump? He could go back to selling himself as a brand. He'd do interviews attacking the GOP and promoting a Dolchstoßlegende that could haunt the Right for decades. He might even launch that rumored cable news channel of his (which his campaign has flatly denied) and use it as a platform, or he could just (ghost-)write another book. Whatever he did he would likely profit handsomely for it, though the Republican Party, and the country as a whole, would not.

Whether he is kept on the ticket or not, Trump will excoriate the GOP leadership for "Screwing him out of a win" if he loses and his supporters at Breitbart and Fox News will go along with it for the ratings boost from angry Trump supporters. The best that can be said is keeping him on is the marginally better option, but only marginally.

The future of the party seems to rest in Donald Trump’s tiny hands. It is unlikely he will win. Indeed, even if he does alter course slightly over the next few days it is hard to imagine those rhetorical habits that have so poisoned things for him, and the Republican Party as a whole, in the general not rising back up just enough times to keep him from hitting that magic number, 270 in November 8. The question is will he behave responsibly enough to prevent the GOP from experiencing its worst electoral calamity since 1964.

Le Nozze di Figaro

Given that this has been a rather dour post I thought I should do something to liven it. I’ve recently taken a liking to opera. What? I needed the distraction.

I’m still a beginner, of course. I’m making my way through a 1990s production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro in Italian). I’m about halfway through and am enjoying every single second of it. I can only describe the play as sublimely decadent in ways that not even the raciest sitcom would dare venture. The plot concerns the servant Figaro’s attempts, along with his fiancé Susanna and the Contessa, to spoil the Count’s scheme to invoke the right of Droit du seigneur upon his wife. Really. And it’s a comedy, albeit one with some rather dramatic elements.

The music is fantastic, and, for a sample, I’m going to give you this clip from a 1980 production. The song is the famous aria “Non so più,” performed by the character Cherubino, a teenage boy who has now discovered the joys of being a teenage boy; being madly in love with every woman he sees. Now, you might notice that he is rather feminine, that is because Cherubino has, since the play was first performed in 1786, been played almost always by women.

There is a line at the end that I find rather interesting. Throughout the aria Cherubino speaks about how he always “speaks of love,” prompting these lines at the end:

And if I do not have anyone near to hear me
I speak of love to myself!


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Open Thread...

I have nothing to add tonight that can possible make any rational sense as to what is going on in the world and the factured country we are becoming, so I am not even going to try.

But I will say this. I am so very tired of the President of the United States taking every tragedy and turning it into a political diatribe about how horrible we are. We have done nothing to deserve that kind of treatment. It is not our fault. Politicians, ALL OF THEM from all around the world are the problem, not the American people and not the regular people of the world just trying to get through the day.

49 people were slaughtered on Sunday morning by a crazed Islamic terrorist, yet somehow in President Obama's perverted and very sick mind, we must have done something to cause it because it couldn't be for any other reason.

Share your thoughts, but here is a puppy and kitten to help...

and here are some mini-pigs because...well, I like pigs. They put me in my happy place...
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

It's liberals being idiots tonight...

Liberals Are Stupid: Morgan Freeman admitted that he was “sexist” because he checked out his producing partner’s short skirt the first time they met. Uh, no. First of all Morgan, you’re a leftist. So of course you’re sexist. Lefists are everything they claim everyone else is. They just think their racism and sexism and ageism and whateverism is harmless and cute.

Secondly, checking out a member of the oppose sex is not sexist, idiot. It’s called being human. Sexist would be if you judged her competence or discriminated against her because she’s a woman. Do you really not know what sexism? Loser.

Hypocrite, They Name Is Liberal: Gisele Bundchen wore a t-shirt the other day to help fight deforestation. Yay! Go planet! Good grief. First of all, how does it help deforestation for a woman with more than enough clothes to be given another free t-shirt? Secondly, doesn’t this woman live in a massive mansion with Tom Brady? Yes, she does. And doesn’t she go on exotic vacations all over the planet at private resorts? Yes, she does. Resorts that cut town buttloads of trees? Yes, they do. Gisele Bundchen fighting deforestation is a joke... she is the CAUSE of deforestation!

Liberals Are Prejudiced: Jimmy Fallon is one of thousands of liberals to race full speed ahead to politicize the Orlando shooting away from themes they don't like and toward themes that make them comfortable. In his case, he wants this killing to be about straights hating gays. He said in his monologue, "What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them?" Sadly for Jimmy, that was before it turned out that the shooter was gay. What I would tell your kids, Jimmy, is this:
"See kids, I'm a liberal, which means I want things to be true whether they are or aren't. I want to believe this shooter was acting in the name of conservative, straight, white, Christian males because I have built those people into the enemy in my mind and it would shatter my entire worldview and all my beliefs if they weren't really evil people like I want to believe. Long story short, don't trust a word that comes out of my mouth because I'm hopelessly biased."
Not On A Bet: Finally, as an aside, someone just bought the Playboy Mansion for $100 million. Honestly, I wouldn’t take that place if it was free. There just aren’t enough black lights on this planet to make sure that place is clean.
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Fun With "What If We Just..."

I have had enough of this election cycle already and am throwing my endorsement to Sweet Meteor O' Death a/k/a SMOD...

Unseriously, how could being destroyed by a giant meteor hurling towards Earth be any worse than a potential President Clinton or President Trump?

Of course, there a many possible scenarios that will come up in the next few months. One of those highly unlikely scenarios is that the Republican delegates will revolt and throw the nomination to an as-yet-unnamed rational, vote-worthy candidate. Or the Democrat delegates could revolt and throw their support to Bernie...okay, that is not a better choice.

Or, stay with me here, there is a way to go that may solve all of our problems. A choice so bold that it might just work! I would like to unseriously explore the scenario that what if we just don't make ANY choice at all...

I mean, think about it...do we really need an Executive Branch? We can still keep the Legislative and Judicial Branches just in case we need them, but I suggest that we go without any formal leader for four years and see how it works out! Yeah, yeah, I can see the pitfalls and problems that could arise; those "unintended consequences" we hear so much about, but refuse to admit that we saw coming. But we can work this all out as we go along just like Obamacare. I mean, without a leader, we can make our own decisions.

What does the President do anyway? I mean, if we are to believe that George W. was as dumb as a post and he could do it, then anyone should be able to do it, right?

Here's couple of ways to do it to start the ball rolling:

How about using a jury-like system to call on random groups of regular citizens to solve problems. Someone can just choose random citizen's names out of hat (Think: The Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter books!) to be sequestered for a short period of time to weigh the facts and decide, say, how or if to allocate money for building a bridge to nowhere. There would be no donors with agendas, no parties to be beholden to, and no influence peddling available. Frankly, I trust regular citizens to make these decisions rather than a group of elected representatives who won't/don't listen anyway. Take it directly to "the People".

Here's another issue. Let's say that The Queen of England wants to come for an offical state visit. I say, let's just use the Giant Sorting Hat of Destiny and randomly assign some citizen(s) to entertain "Her Majesty" for an evening! We don't need a Head of State to spend billions of dollars a year to entertain other Heads of State. Hey, if she doesn't want to participate then she doesn't have to come, right? [Seriously, I tried something like this when I was in Dublin and it was really fun... City Of A Thousand Welcomes I highly recommend signing up for this if you ever go to Dublin!]

If you have any other ideas for this, let's have 'em. Let your fancy take flight...
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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Orlando Shooting

Just a thought tonight really. This murder in Orlando is depressing. It is depressing that a human being thinks that killing innocent people is a valid idea. It is equally depressing that I don’t think we are going to solve this problem any time soon. To the contrary, I suspect that you are about to hear the usual suspect pointing fingers at their pet projects... guns did it! Islam did it! It was anti-gay Christians! It was racism! It was men! It was the lack of a living wage! It was W Bush!

The thing is, each shooter is different. Most are simply sexually dysfunctional pathetics who want to feel powerful and important. To stop them, the Media needs to stop turning them into heroes. But that won’t happen because the Media refuses to accept any responsibility for its own actions.

Some are shooting people they know. This can only be combated by people being more perceptive of those around them and realizing when people are starting to draw near the edge. The system also needs to support these people by taking more notice of people who are becoming threats. I would also add that we need to tone down the violence in our culture. Hollywood in particular sells the idea of violence as a solution to anything. And we need to teach kids alternative means for solving the problems that arise in their lives.

Some are just crazies. These are people who kill because their inner voices told them to. To stop these people, we need to change the laws to let the system have greater control over people who are mental, and we need to make mental health professionals more willing to take action and not hide behind the diagnosis “subject seems to lack actual intent to turn words into deeds.” I've seen that three times in my professional live, each time before a killing. We also need to finally accept the fact that certain people simply should never be free to roam about society. Not everyone can be saved.

Finally, some are political or religious. This guy appears to fall into this category, with a nod to sexual dysfunction. His cause, from all appearances, is radical Islam’s cult of victimization.

The thing is, a lot of people will be tempted to scream for a military solution (if you’re conservative) or a policing solution (if you’re an idiot liberal). But you can’t solve this problem in that manner. The idea of policing is idiotic because policing is about picking up the peaces after the fact. That doesn’t help us here.

As for a military solution, you can’t kill an idea by killing people. The only way to stop radical Islam from going to war with the West is to reform Islam to remove its victimhood core and its focus on conquest. It needs to reform itself to accept the fact that other religions are perfectly fine and that their existence does not threaten it. It also needs to stop promising goodies in exchange for doing harm, and it needs to stop treating nonbelievers with disdain. And that change can only happen by a concerted effort of Muslims to stop accepting the legitimacy of people like ISIS and all these radical clerics.

Also, for those who think a military option is a good one, keep in mind that you can’t kill people who show no signs of being on the other side until they act. Guys like this fool do not appear on battlefields, they don’t undergo training. They live seemingly normal lives, often times not even religious appearing lives, until they decide to act. It’s like an accountant deciding one day to rob a bank. You can’t stop people like that in advance unless you take away the reward they think they can get. This is a demand side problem, not a supply side problem that can be fixed by stemming the supply of money or killing the people... you need to stop them from wanting to do it in the first place.

Sadly, I don’t think any of these changes will ever be made. There are too many vested interests in advocating the same stupid solutions over and over. It’s easy. It gets votes. It fits the political leanings of the advocates.


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Thursday, June 9, 2016

No, You Are Not A “Strong” Woman

An open letter to “strong” women.

The idea of “strong women” is in vogue right now and I despise it. It is an utterly pathetic affectation used by two groups: (1) pathetic women who want to convince themselves that they aren’t so pathetic and (2) unlikable nasty women who want to justify their misconduct. Plus, of course, celebrities looking to sell you crap. Anyways, let me be blunt: you are not a strong woman. Now let me tell you why you aren’t a strong woman.

You are not a strong woman if you have to tell yourself that you are strong. Sorry. If you have to tell people that you are a thing, then you are not that thing. That goes for claims of being smart, nice and selfless too. If you gotta tell people about it... well.

You are not a strong woman if you think “strength” involves not falling apart when men look at you. That’s just pathetic.

You are not a strong woman if you look to actresses, singers or film characters as role models. All those songs about how strong the singer claims to be? All horrible advice. Delete your playlist now before you end up lonely and even more neurotic.

You are not a strong woman if you attack men for “sexism” but then think it’s cute or funny when you engage in the same conduct. Nor are you strong if you take offense to normal human conduct.

You are not a strong woman if you think it matters who the “first woman” was to do something a bunch of men already did.

You are not a strong woman if you are waiting for a man to hand you power.

You are not a strong woman if you think people should be judged/supported by their gender. Hello Hillary.

You are not a strong woman if you think accepting advice from men... or anyone... makes you weak.

You are not a strong woman if you think little girls needs films showing girls going on adventures without boys so they can learn how to be strong, or if you think girls need to master sports to be strong.

You are not a strong woman if you think “strength” comes from being like men.

You are not a strong woman if you think “strength” comes from cruelty, being discourteous, “finally being selfish,” or any other behavior that neglects or injures those you encounter.

You are not a strong woman if you read magazine articles or books telling you how to be strong. In fact, you are not a strong woman if you think you need to buy anything to help you find your “strength.”

You are not a strong woman if you think that having a particular job will make you strong.

You are not a strong woman if you think “surviving” a disease makes you strong. Sorry, but what was the alternative? Suicide? Not killing yourself does not make you strong... it just makes you not dead.

You are not a strong woman if you think being a “strong” woman is even a thing. It’s not. All of this emoting about strong women completely misses what really matters: it’s not “strength” that matters, it’s character.

See, this is what you will never understand. Strength isn’t what Beyonce and Oprah and your silly girlfriends told you that it is. It’s not about being selfish or rejecting men or not killing yourself whenever something bad happens. Strength is the ability to make truly independent decisions, regardless of how many other members of your herd disagree and want you to stop. Strength is being your own woman... charting your own course because that is you what believe is the right way... and accepting the consequence that you may become unpopular with all those scared little “strong women” who can’t stand you being different. It is achieving your potential. It is earning the respect of those you meet.

And if you have a strong character, then you don’t need anyone to tell you that. In fact...

You are not a strong woman if you need me to tell you that you are strong.

If my opinion about your strong-hood matters to you... if you need me to confirm your worth or if you feel compelled to tell me off because I’ve hurt your feelings by denigrating your strong-hood, then you are not strong.

I have met some truly amazing women in my life. I knew a woman who graduated very early from the Air Force Academy when nobody wanted her there. I’ve met a brilliant judge you couldn’t criticize no matter how much you wanted to. I’ve got a daughter who charts her own course regardless of the criticisms and who has the amazing power to analyze herself and repair any flaws she finds. Each of these women has my utmost respect because they’ve earned it. Each one of them is a truly independent thinker. They live their lives by their own moral code which doesn’t change to reflect the fashion of the day or to assuage the discomfort of the herd. They aren’t afraid to accept advice, but they always make their own decisions and not one of them could give a sh*t when somebody says, “Hey, girls don’t do that!” “So? I do. The end.”

Thank God for women of character!

And do you know what else? Every one of them is constantly, viciously attacked for being different by women just like you who like to think of themselves as strong and independent. Think about that the next time you tell your daughter to be “more normal.”
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Drink Responsibly...

I am just getting to old for this crap. Here's the story. A Stanford swimming star was charged, tried, found guilty by a jury, and convicted of raping a young woman for which he has been sentenced to 6 months in jail and his name in the Sex Offender database for the rest of his life. One would think that is a good outcome.

Oh, but wait folks...apparently not. The prosecutor asked for 14 years, but the judge chose to sentence the guy to 6 months (3 months off for good behavior) and a lifetime as a branded sex offender. Social media went insane because of the light sentence and petitions are making the rounds and being signed to recall the judge for the light sentence.

Here are the basic facts (from my perspective): Blind drunk girl with a blood alcohol level 3 times over the legal limit goes to a frat party. She comes into contact with a boy whose blood alcohol level is 2 times over the legal limit at a Stanford frat party. What could possibly go wrong, right? Drunk boy asks drunk girl back to his dorm room, but they don't make it past the dumpsters before they do what drunk boys and girls at frat parties do. Two students biking around at 1am in the morning for what reason only they know, find drunk boy having sex with drunk girl and stop it. The girl is obviously unconscious. This is bad because, even though the boy swears she gave consent, according to the law, an unconscious person cannot give consent and rightfully so. Ergo, the drunk boy is arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced to jail time [See: sentence above].

Here is where my frustration comes in. Exactly what wisdom (or lack of it) have we instilled in young women to think that they can voluntarily get blind drunk (3 times over legal limit) and not bear just a tiny bit of responsibility for these kinds of situations? Mind you, the boy IS going to jail and rightfully so, but why does she get to play the completely innocent victim? This may sound harsh, but life comes with risks. And our job is to try our hardest to minimize these risks.

One of those ways is to, say, not take a casual stroll through Central Park at 2am. If you don't do that, then chances of getting mugged are drastically reduces and you have wisely chosen to minimize your risk of being mugged or worse. Another way is to lock your doors and windows when you leave your home to minimize the risk to being robbed. Of course, robbers break in, but by buying insurance against indicates that the homeowner understands that there is a risk and has it covered just in case.

Another very important way is to not get blind drunk before going out your door (or to a frat party). Yes, yes, I know, don't blame the victim. But when one sets out voluntarily to get blind drunk to the point one cannot remember who or where one is, one drastically raises the possibility of bodily harm. You should not get to abdicated personal responsibility and then call yourself an innocent victim. I have been branded a victim-blamer, but it seems to me we could minimize these kinds of crimes by instilling in young women that perhaps the wise choice would be to not go out of their way to make themselves vulnerable by getting blind drunk. If they can try to minimize the risk to their person, it would be a great first-line defense against bodily harm.

Let me stress that none of this means that what this guy who has been tried, convicted, and sentenced is in any way, shape, or form any less of a rapist. There are people in the world who want to do harm to others. But we have to start by acknowledging that there is a risk and to try our hardest to minimize that risk by being responsible and paying attention.

Discuss...or not.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Boomers: Muhammad Ali and MEEEEEEEE!!!!

God, I hate liberal Baby Boomers! Earth will be a paradise when their scourge finally extinguishes. What now, you ask? Muhammad Ali, that's what! Article after article is appearing from leftist Boomer journalists (“Sh*thead Boomers” for short) about Ali, and they are all packed to the brim with standard Boomer tropes about how Ali gave them the courage to re-write history and make themselves the center of it!! F you, Boomers!! How flippin' narcissistic can you get? Oh, there's no limit? I see. Ahhhhh!

Every one of these articles reads like:

I never met Ali, but I knew he was something special the first moment I saw him! I was only ten, but I was one of the first to support him as he changed his name and when he dodged the draft and when he beat that guy in that place. Yeah, I was with him all along, not like the rest of white, conservative racist America. Yep, back when all white people tried to oppress black people, I came along and pulled for the marchers in the late 1960’s. We really shoved it down the throats of those racists. (//feels no shame at ignorance of role of whites in Civil Rights pre-1960's)

Let me tell you about me. See, I grew up in a hateful, right-wing Nazi-like town in arch-conservative Connecticut (//not aware that Connecticut has never been to the right of British Labor party) and my parents were blue collar, which means they supported the American Racist Party (//parents were liberals). I went to an East Coast private college where I faced a Nazi-like administration – all colleges were hardcore conservative back then (//not aware American education establishment has always been 5-1 to 10-1 progressive). But when those other students started blowing up buildings in a peaceful way, mind you, and then demanding freedom, I was right there with them. I mean, that happened a few years before I got there and it happened at some other college, but I certainly gave them my support after the fact. Yeah... we were something special back then!

All we wanted was peace and freedom (//and money for nothing). That’s why we gathered at Hate'N'Ashburn in San Francisco to hear classic rock music and live in communities. That’s why we did mind altering substances. //snicker If you get my meaning. //wink wink (Don't tell anyone, //giggle giggle, but I did something illegal. We called it “pot” back then... for those not in the know: pot is marijuana, but you didn't hear it from me!)

And then there was Woodstock. I knew that would be special when I hitchhiked up there with my hippie girlfriend, a real girl, and we made love for free! My racist parents tried to stop me //by refusing to pay my way, but they couldn’t stop me. We just got in the back of my friend's van and drove all the way to Illinois! Yeah, I was at Woodstock and I saw Jim Hendrickson play that one song on his electric guitar.

But none of this would have happened if Ali hadn’t inspired me. Think about that. Think about how the world might have changed if Ali hadn’t inspired me. Isn't that mind-boggling? You might not even be reading this article today if that hadn't happened. Crazy!

See, Ali knew something none of us did. He knew stuff. And that inspired us that he stood up for what he believed, like how he stopped racism and stuff. I just can’t believe all the racists who want to stop him even today. Why is the world so racist? Can't we learn anything from Ali? How can we have come so far and yet know so little? One thing is for sure, Ali and I connected. He was on the right side of history.

Ahhhhhhhhh!!! F YOU, BOOMER!!

The article above is a slight exaggeration of one written by sports writer Peter King, who is a leftist hack but doesn’t seem to be able to grasp that fact. He thinks he’s unbiased even though he holds hard left opinions on everything. He really thinks that Connecticut is a “conservative” place. He really sees history through the lens of how it made him feel. And the line that really pissed me off was this about his brother’s anti-war protesting and Ali’s draft dodging:
“But Ken was certainly on the right side of history. Ali was certainly on the right side of history.”
Really? So the right side of history was to abandon an independent country so that its northern neighbor could take over and imprison or slaughter tens of thousands, drive tens of thousands more out of the country, go to war with China and impose communism and drive the country to the verge of bankruptcy before giving it all up and going for Capitalism. That’s the right side of history in Peter’s book? What an asshole.

Someone should invent a virus that kills everyone who falsely claims to have been at Woodstock. That should rid us of almost all of these losers.
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On College Curriculum Rebellion & Other Thoughts

I really did not want to discuss the on-going rebellion against learning on college campuses these days, but after reading an article on the most recent demands from Yale student, I can't help myself. Yes, that Ivy-league Yale University that has spawned some of the great (and not so great) thinkers and leaders of the free world and beyond for generations.

Let's just start here - Yale Daily News - Student Petition Urges English Department To Diversify.

Here are some key cuts from this article that jumped out at me:
"The petition calls for the abolishment of this prerequisite and for the pre-1800/1900 requirements to refocus and include literature relating to gender, race and sexuality."
And then this -
"The petition claims it is “unacceptable” for prospective ENGLISH LITERATURE MAJORS [emphasis added] to study only white male authors in the Major English Poets sequence, adding that the lack of diversity in the curriculum drives away talented students."

It is a curriculum designed for ENGLISH LITERATURE MAJORS. The operative words there is ENGLISH and LITERATURE. But they don't want to have to study actual "English literature". Sorry that they were mostly old white guys, but, hey, it is ENGLISH LITERATURE brought to them by ENGLISH people who just happened to be WHITE and mostly wrote in ENGLISH. Oh, that includes pretty much the entire canon of "Euro-centric" literature as well - the white-guy part anyway. It could be worse, those Major English Poets probably had to start their education by studying the Latin and Greek poets in Latin and Greek!

I can understand not wanting to have to study the Major English Poets, but then I was not an ENGLISH LITERATURE MAJOR either. But I suffered through because it broadened my mind, taught me how to analyze text, and stretched my intellect so that I could understand OTHER STUFF! I was committed to learning how to learn.

And it is not just in our prestigous universities that there is the movement to not teach English literature in English literature classes. There is the High School ENGLISH LITERATURE teacher named Dana Dusbiber, who embarrassed herself last year by pronouncing that she no longer thought it relevant to subject her students to the rantings of an "a long-dead, British guy". Oh, that "long-dead British guy" was William Shakespeare. Of course, Ms Dusbiber also admitted that she could not understand and, therefore did not like Shakespeare, so why should she teach it. I ask why was/is she allowed to teach ENGLISH LITERATURE, if she did not understand it! She further exclaimed that "it might now be appropriate for us to acknowledge [Shakespeare] as chronicler of life as he saw it 450 years ago and leave it at that". Thinking about that statement for a minute, one can only conclude why teach anything that might be more than last week's news cycle? And might I also add, why is this woman allowed to continue to teach at all if she has no affinity for the subject she is teaching, but I will leave that for another long-standing issue I have had with public school education.

Of course, there is a simple solution to all of this that does not include changing the curriculum that has worked for generations. If you don't want to study English Literature...DON'T BE AN ENGLISH LITERATURE MAJOR! Oh, and then there is something that these students may not have thought of...you are allowed to read and study outside of a structured environment. There are these places called "libraries" that contain all sorts of books and stuff not written by long-dead white guys and they are free. But "TRIGGER WARNING": libraries cannot and should not double as "safe spaces" because, well, there might be some stuff on the shelves that might upset or challenge one to, as we used to say "think outside the box"! But if all else fails, there's always Amazon.com!

Other thoughts on a completely unrelated topic:

This sums up this election cycle in a Twitter nutshell (pun intended)

Okay, now feel free to free-associate freely on other topics with all Constitution Rights protected (as deemed appropriate by The Management of CommentaramaPolitics whoever they are...we haven't heard from them in awhile)...
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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Leftists Misunderstand 1968

In 1968, leftists violently protested at the Democratic convention in Chicago. This led to a series of events. Those events teach us a lesson. The left, however, has misunderstood the lesson, as evidenced by events like the anti-Trump riot in San Jose this weekend.

1968 was a turbulent year much like the past few years. Consider this. The year is 1968. Leftist President LBJ took office on a technicality after replacing an idealist JFK who inspired millions, but achieved nothing except a string of failures. LBJ has become deeply unpopular due to his stupid idea to expand welfare to the point of the Great Society. He is so unpopular that he decides not to run again. Meanwhile, the world is in chaos. The Hungarians and the Czechs have risen up against the Soviets and gotten crushed. The world remains in the middle of 20 years of living on the brink of nuclear annihilation from Soviet missiles. College campuses have become hotbeds of idiocy with national guardsmen being called out at times to maintain control as students riot and take over campus buildings. Society itself seems to be falling apart.

In the middle of all of this, the left rioted at the Democratic Convention. This was a group of hateful delicates who wanted a whole host of stupid things and saw the Democrats as the party they could co-opt to get it for them. The result of this was that the images of chaos beamed into American homes by the nightly news turned the public against the Democrats and they turned to Richard Nixon and the Republicans.

Now the year is 2016. Leftist President Obama won office despite losing nine million votes -- an unprecedented event. He replaces young Obama, an idealist like JFK who inspired millions, but who achieved nothing except a string of failures. He has become deeply unpopular because of his stupid idea to create Obamacare. Meanwhile, the world is in chaos. Arabs have risen up in the Arab Spring and yet nothing has changed. The world remains in the middle of 20 years of living on the brink of terrorism. College campuses, like Missouri, have become hotbeds of idiocy with police being called out at times to maintain control as students riot and take over campus buildings. Society itself seems to be falling apart.

This time, the delicates have chosen a new strategy, since they don't want to destroy the Democratic Party they now own. They believe that the lesson of 1968 is that by attacking a group, they can scare the public away from that group because the public will see the group as chaotic and "surrounded by violence" and will want to be rid of them. Basically, they make that group seem more trouble than they are worth. Hence, they are attacking Trump supporters in the belief that this will destroy Trump with the public.

They're wrong.

In fact, they've completely misread the lessons of 1968. The truth about 1968 is that the public turned against the Democrats because the Democrats not only responded weakly, they essentially pandered to the terrorists by embracing their causes. The result was that this saddled the Democrats with the image of being anti-American and being opposed to law and order. It made the generally apolitical public worry that the Democrats could not be trusted with the White House for fear of what kind of world they wanted. That lost the Democrats the South. It lost them blue collar workers. It lost them whites. It lost them males.

Attacking Trump will not project a similar image onto Trump and the GOP. To the contrary, all this does is revive the charge that the Democrats are opposed to law and order and are anti-American... something Bill Clinton and Obama have both struggled to overcome. Attacking people who are peaceful, wins you no friends and loses you all but your fellow travelers. What's more, with these riots being led by losers with pro-Mexico signs and flags, these idiots confirm the very fears the public has about them and makes them ever more willing to embrace Trump's anti-Illegal stance. In fact, they've thrown away the high ground that conservatives ceded them when they went racist in 2011/12.

I think the left will be shocked to discover that the more they try to disrupt Trump, the more points Hillary will lose in the polls and the more the public will back Trump and his harsher stances.


BTW, The media is in a false-tizzy about Trump saying that an Hispanic and a Muslim judge might be unfair to him. This is apparently evil and racist and blah blah blah. So tell me... if what Trump says is racist nonsense, then why do blacks complain about a lack of black judges and jurors? Why do feminists complain about a lack of female judges? Isn't their complaint fundamentally that someone not like them will sympathize with people of another gender or race and, therefore, they cannot be trusted to be fair? So why isn't the same true for Hispanic and Muslim judges?
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Thursday, June 2, 2016

They Do Pile It High Sometimes

I’m in an ornery mood. It’s time to offend some people....

● Yahoo is a wretched hive of whiny idiocy. Seriously, they've hired a bunch of dumbass Millennials who's greatest goal in life is to post snark about unimportant events. Yahoo deserves to be flushed down history's toilet of failures. BTW, if you write for Yahoo, you may need to look up those words in a dictio-- uh... never mind. Just Google it morons.

● Yahoo has a story OMG about some poor woman OMG who was OMG like kicked out of like a gym OMG for like breastfeeding like her child and stuff. OMG! How can people be so rotten?!! Don’t they know it’s just a biological function?

You know what else is a biological function? Dropping a turd... masturbation... cleaning the old Johnson... clipping your toenails... picking your nose. And yet, none of those things are acceptable in public. So why should we get worked up about some woman being told not to breastfeed in a gym?

● There was a study just released which claims that 12% of men and 12% of women have now engaged in homosexual sex. They attribute the increase to acceptance of gays.

Yeah, nice try. I haven’t even looked at the methodology of that pile of crap and I can tell you that’s false. Why? Well, every single attempt ever to quantify gay activity (outside of the totally discredited Kinsey study) has found that around 2-3% of the population is gay... that’s it. It's consistent across age groups, races and countries. So a 12% finding would represent a sudden 400% to 600% increase. That never happens in nature or in human behavior. Moreover, other places have become much more accepting of gays long before us, and yet they experience NO increase in gay sex. So a study that claims to find a unique to mankind 500% increase in gay sex in the general population, something not found anywhere else in history or on the planet, sounds like total bullsh*t to me.

● Surprise surprise. The group suing Trump claiming that his university is a fraud just happens to have bundled $900,000 to Clinton. Shocker.

● WTF Glenn Beck? Beck is fringe. Beck is beyond fringe. Beck is full-retard fringe. And now he's running around like a paranoid with his aluminum hat blown off? Good grief. This is the pot head calling the kettle black. What’s more, he entertained the idea on his radio show of assassinating Trump. Glenn is not a man anyone should listen to. Seriously, Glenn, get back on the meds and stop the butt sex... it's rattling your brain.

● The leftist CEO of Starbucks did an interview this weekend in which he called for civility in politics. You first, f*cker. When the left drops hate as the core of their ideology, outrage and smear as their campaign tactics, and starts bathing, then we’ll talk.

● Finally, tell me that the picture below doesn’t ring of Frank-N-Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show...
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Things I've Learned This Week

I don't have much today except to share what I have learned this week from the interwebs. I follow PolitiFact on Twitter and I am amazed at the way they bend over backwards to come up with "facts" that aligned with their "non-political" agenda. It is awesome to behold.

PolitiFact upholds themselves as the great bastion of honest, unadulterated "fact-checking" along the lines of the well-worn catch phrase from the '60's TV show "Dragnet" - "Just the facts, Ma'am." Well, not really.

Now far be it for me to ever agree with anything that Donald Trump spouts, but the over-arching theme seems to be that it is okay to ignore the slaughter hundreds of endangered golden eagles every year for the sake of wind turbines rather than to kill one gorilla raise in a zoo to save one small child.

Example: Trump Exaggerates Wind Turbine Eagle Deaths

I would post links of the hundreds of articles relating to the death of a gorilla in the Ohio Zoo, but why bother....

How screwed up is it that we are to made to agonize over the death of one gorilla raised in a zoo, but are to ignore the wholesale slaughter of hundred of eagles into extinction for the sake of energy production?

Discuss...or discuss any other topic that may come up.
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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

'Henges, Now and Then

Along with Memorial Day and the official beginning of Summer, we had a biannual celestial event in NYC aptly named "Manhattan-henge". Also named the Manhattan Solstice, it is an event during which the setting sun is perfectly aligned with the grid of numbered, east–west streets of Manhattan. (Note: Unfortunately, we had rain, so it was not seen this weekend in it's full glory)

Pretty cool, huh? Now, this isn't exactly like it's namesake "Stonehenge" on Salisbury Plain in the UK where the sun aligns exactly to come over the foot stone on the actually Summer Solstice. But it is the best we "moderns" could do.

Well, and Manhattan is situated about 29 degrees off true North/South and of course, was not designed as a...whatever Stonehenge is supposed to be. These ancient stonemasons had a lot of time on their hands to study the celestial bodies and a bunch of stones that they had dragged hundred of miles, and no city government to tell them where and how they could build their "henge" (if you know what I mean).

On my trip earlier this month, I went to another ancient place in Ireland called Newgrange. It is a mound outside of Dublin that when excavated in the 20th Century, it was discovered that the opening and the inner chamber of the mound were aligned perfectly with the sun to mark the Winter Solstice. It predates the Great Pyramids of Egypt by a thousand years, and is worth the trip to see.

Now to my point. There is this great wonder by all who visit as to how these ancient people could possibly have the skill to build these monuments to the sun with such precision that the sun would be exactly aligned at a specific day ever single year. I do not find this so extraordinary. They looked at the sky a lot. What else did they have to do at night or while tending to the flocks during they day? Of course, they would study the heavens, create stories about great Gods who inhabited the night skies and, at the most basic, it was their entertainment.

And as always, there are humans who went beyond mere entertainment, and observed their world in hopes to improve it. They started with what was available to them every day - the sky. And through that observation, they determined that the big, firey thing in the sky that comes over the horizon every day, rises at a certain point on the horizon and sets at another point on the horizon. And by putting markers down in a circle, they observed that the point moved. If you think about it, it was the earliest form of a computer and used to predict the trajectory of the Sun. If they had been stupid, humans would never have progressed to cell phones and reality shows...oh, wait.

By the way, there are hundreds of these mounds and "henges" throughout Ireland and the UK, many of which have yet to be excavated and studied. Who knows what other celestial events these other mounds were meant to mark.

Anyway, discuss.
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